What Are My Retroactive Benefits, And Why Are They Taking So Long?

Posted August 11, 2017 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Retroactive benefits (or back-pay) are the benefits that accrue while you wait for your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim to be granted. In theory, you will begin receiving your monthly benefits and then the retroactive benefits are released within the next three months. However, we have been seeing extreme delays in the release of these retroactive benefits over the last year or so.

Some local Social Security offices are estimating that it is taking certain payment centers an additional eight to twelve months to release these retroactive benefits. The reason being cited is that the payment centers are extremely backlogged and understaffed, and that Social Security is concentrating on meeting the demands of getting the monthly benefit started as the first priority. Essentially, the processing of retroactive benefits is being pushed to the back burner.

If you can prove a “dire need” situation, then Social Security will try to release your retroactive benefits sooner. For example, retroactive benefits may be released sooner if you can show that you lack the resources to obtain food, critical medication or medical treatment, or shelter. You can submit eviction notices, foreclosure notices, shut-off notices, and other items to substantiate the claim that your case meets the “dire need” standard to expedite the retroactive benefit processing. Additionally, claimants who suffer from terminal illnesses or are designated “wounded warriors” from active duty injuries may also see their retroactive benefits processed more quickly than other beneficiaries.

Please contact us if you are interested in applying for disability benefits, or if you are looking for help with an existing claim!

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®